UPDATE: Mattanaw Mattanaw today turned to Facebook to offer his version of the alleged gunplay on Stewarts Road last week that led to him being charged with a felony for driving around randomly shooting and two misdemeanors, including reckless endangerment, for spraying upper Potter Valley with gunfire.
To say his version of events is radically different from the situation described by the Alaska Police Department would be an understatement. Here is his post in its entirety:
“But funny and kinda shitty thing happened. My neighbor called the police on me randomly with a claim about gun usage, and when I was out for a jog they arrested me and took me straight to jail. I just got out today. Crazy scenario. So it looks like I have yet another court case on my hand (sic). This one looks easier than the earlier though, so I think I will easily prevail. But geez… to be in prison a first time. Odd experience.”
Alaska’s rich, sad history with end-of-the-roaders opened a new chapter last week with a report to the Anchorage Pollice Department of a flurry of gunfire along a controversial, barricaded road on the edge of the state’s largest city.
The outskirts of Anchorage might seem a strange place to find an end-of-the roader, but there is where Mattanaw Mattanaw – legally given name Christopher Matthew Cavanaugh – decided to base his “off-the-grid” Alaska adventure.
This being the 21st century, he took to the internet to share his story with the world after his on-again, off-again forays to Alaska began a half-dozen years ago.
In his many social media posts since are some echoes of the late Christoper McCandless, AKA “Alexander Supertramp,” among whose last recorded words were those proclaiming “Two years he walks the Earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road.”
Mattanaw Mattanaw offered the modern, Twitterized version of his life on the road and in Alaska: “@mattanaw @mattanaw.everywhere @mattanaw.travels”
Along with this came a whole lot more provided in much greater detail than anything left behind by McCandless, whose record of the road to starvation was a 430-word diary found along with his body in a deserted bus he’d made his home along the Stampede Road in Central Alaska.
The lack of any real record of what happened to him on the edge of the wilderness north of Denali National Park and Preserve between the spring and fall of 1992 enabled writer John Krakauer to pen a speculative history of McCandless’s life called “Into the Wild,” that made poor, dead Supertramp posthumously famous.
Mattanaw has left a more complete record that goes from the silliness of portraying the suburbs of Alaska’s largest city as the end of the road to showing some hints of paranoia.
On Jan. 13, 2019, he posted a video of himself chaining his truck up for “icy dangers” as he tried to make his way along what is locally known as “Stewarts Road” to a fifth-wheel trailer he’d towed to near the edge of the half-million-acre Chugach State Park.
A few weeks later, he claimed to have found himself “stuck between a moose and a winterbear.”
With the road blocked by a moose with a calf that night, he claimed to have left his truck parked in the middle of the road, then “walking, in pitch black conditions, with some reflection from the snow, and flashlight in hand, I navigated down a steep hill to bypass the moose. When I came back up the hill to the road, after much hiking, I found I was only about 30 feet ahead of that same large moose. But I was happy because at least I could get back to my RV, or so I thought.
“Then, as I walked down the road, I spotted another animal. A large black bear. In winter. For some reason it emerged from hibernation. So I was stuck between a large black bear and a large moose with no way to get back to my truck but to scurry down a steep slope of ice and snow and back up to the road. I didn’t go as far down the hill because I was worried about the bear, so I was dangerously close to the moose. I was more scared of the bear than the moose, but the moose loomed large, and appeared to be as dangerous as the bear.
“I made it back to the truck, and to a hotel to stay for the night, but that was a pretty sketchy situation to be in.”
Bears rarely emerge from hibernation in the winter, but it does sometimes happen. There are no steep slopes of ice along Stewarts Road in the winter although there can be considerable snow.
In April of this year, Mattanaw authored a post on “Responding When Stopped by Police,” observing that “after being harassed in a Starbucks, I took a picture of the person harassing me with my laptop. She had already pretended to take a photo of me first. After seeing that I may have taken a picture of her and her companion, she immediately demanded that I remove it from my device, and started to create an altercation. I decided to leave, and while leaving a Starbucks employee followed me out the door as if I had done something wrong, and asked to (sic) explain what ocurred (sic). Without at all considering that nothing was wrong, and immediately assuming I somehow did something wrong….
“In the last few years I have been targeted with a good amount of harassment and I think it likely that a similar ocurrence (sic) will happen again. I also noticed there is a very strong trend for people to simply harass people until provoking a response, in which they plan to lie about to create a negative situation with police.
“I also thought earlier it might be necessary to have a very solid approach with law enforcement in case of getting pulled over too, and for that reason, I planned to have a strategy that would mostly cover all situations….”
He went on to suggest everyone’s response to a potential contact with law enforcement should be to carry a letter written on “legal letterhead” basically providing your name and offering a description of how you are an all-around good guy, then if approached thanking “the officer for their service BEFORE handing over the legal letter” and saying “if approached, stopped, etc…: ‘Please read this from my attorney before we talk.'”
It does not appear Mattanaw followed any of his recommendations when five units of the APD responding to a call of shots fired along Stewarts Road descended on his Hillside hideaway.
Bang, bang, bang
“On June 9, 2022, at about 2013 hours, officers were dispatched to 18800 Steamboat Drive in reference to a male (the defendant Christopher Cavanaugh) firing rounds from a vehicle he is driving up and down a shared driveway,” Anchorage Police wrote in charging documents filed in court the next day.
The “shared driveway” is what is otherwise known as the dirt, one-lane, nearly two-mile-long Stewarts Road, which is at this time the subject of legal action. The route is an old homestead road back into Potter Valley that crosses a parcel of land Louisianan Frank Pugh bought in 2016. He subsequently constructed a barbed-wire topped gate to keep out the local residents and others who’d long hiked the road but were now, in Pugh’s eyes, trespassers.
The Municipality of Anchorage told Pugh the gate was blocking a public right-of-way and ordered him to tear it down. Pugh refused. Negotiations to get him to change his mind went nowhere.
The response of area homeowners was eventually to form a group called Friends of the Stewart Public Trail to take to court Pugh and Mattanaw, a landowner further up the valley who Pugh had pumped full of trespasser fears. Friends shared the view of the municipality that the old road had long ago become a public access due to its decades of uninterrupted use. An Anchorage Superior Court judge is expected to soon offer a ruling on that lawsuit.
Fortunately, it appears no one was hiking the road – there are a variety of ways around the gate – when Mattanaw, for whatever reason, allegedly decided to start shooting with a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun, judging from the spent casings left along the road, and possibly a 9mm semi-automatic, a weapon he had sometimes been seen carrying.
Police reported arriving on the scene of the reported shooting and talking “with the complainant (M.B.), who informed the police that the defendant had been firing shots from a gun the last two days but all the neighbors have been scared to call. M.B. (Cavanaugh’s nearest neighbor) gave the officers another neighbor’s name and number who lives across the valley from Cavanaugh and who can see the property.
“L.C. stated she witnessed the defendant driving up and down the driveway and hearing gunshots coming from his vehicle (a white van). Officers approached the defendant’s trailer and while they were by the patrol vehicles, the defendant approached the officers. The defendant had a strong odor of alcohol and also had bloodshot and watery eyes.
“Officer Murray applied for and received a search warrant. There were several spent shell casings up the driveway and by the trailer. There were shell casings inside the defendant’s van as well. There were shell casings near the entry of the trailer and inside the bedroom of the trailer.
“There were bullet holes (entry and exit) in the trailer as well. In the defendant’s bedroom, there were significant amount(s) of ammunition and two handguns on the floor on the left side of the bed. The defendant denied shooting his gun and said he had poachers on his property that shoot animals.”
Mattanaw was arrested and hauled off to the city jail. He has since been charged with a felony for driving around shooting from his truck and two misdemeanors, one of which is reckless endangerment.
Readers are reminded that these are only charges, and it has not been proven that Mattanaw was one doing the shooting along Stewarts Road though there are obvious bullet holes to be seen in his trailer and in signs along the road – signs of which Mattanaw was once very proud.
The signs went up shortly after the then-Christopher Cavanaugh bought the property and Pugh convinced him of the need to stop trespassers.
Cavanaugh had by then already claimed the new name Mattanaw – much as McCandless claimed the name Alexander Supertramp – but Cavanaugh didn’t legally become Mattanaw until July 1, 2020 when state records reflect the Alaska Court System recognized his change of name to “Mattanaw Christopher Matthew Cavanaugh Mattanaw.”
One could probably now call him MCMC Mattanaw for short, although this is really not something to joke about given the state’s history with end-of-the-roaders. Several of them have gone on shooting sprees that left behind not blasted signs but bodies.
Possibly the best known of these shootings happened in 1983 when Louis Hastings, described as an “unemployed computer programmer,” opened fire in the tiny community of McCarthy at the end of the dead-end McCarthy Road that runs east from the nowhere community of Chitina into the heart of the wild, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve abutting the Alaska-Canada border.
A summer, tourism boomtown, McCarthy chills down to almost nothing in the winter. There were 22 people resident there in the winter of ’83. The 39-year-old Hastings shot and killed six of them and injured two more before Alaska State Troopers arrived on the scene in an airplane to arrest him.
‘Why did Louis Hastings go on a murderous rampage and kill his neighbors?” Alaska writer asked in a 2018 story for the website Medium. “The reason is nearly as bizarre as the crimes themselves. Hastings was an intelligent computer programmer who had worked at Stanford University in the late 1970s, but like many people who move to Alaska, he left the overdeveloped area where he lived in California with dreams of starting a new life in the unspoiled wilderness of Alaska.
“At first, he and his wife settled in Anchorage, and he started a computer-service business out of his house, but by 1982, his business and marriage had failed, and he began to spend more and more time at his cabin in Kennicott. Alaska’s economy was booming in 1983 due to the construction of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline that carries oil from Prudhoe Bay south to the port of Valdez on Prince William Sound. The state was flush with money and in the midst of a construction boom. Hastings hated the pipeline and related development it had created, and he felt the state’s newfound prosperity would ruin the lifestyle he had dreamed of when he’d moved to Alaska. It became his mission to destroy the pipeline.”
There are some parallels with Mattanaw. The 41-year-old Mattanaw arrived in Alaska from the Lower 48 with a wife. They are now divorced. Mattanaw claims to have the IQ of a genius, which he has said makes it difficult for him to function socially. His LinkedIn profile describes him as a former “internal advisor” to Adobe Partners Solutions and an “architect” at Virtusa, a computer tech company.
Mattanaw grew up in the Washington, D.C. area before migrating west. Friends say he is a vegan. He has posted detailed information about his background online, including photos of his passport, finger prints, Social Security card, Maryland driver’s license, and some medical history – information most people prefer to keep private.
A self-proclaimed Sierra Club member, he has for some time been obsessed with “trespassers” on the road through his property to the former Stewart property abutting Chugach State Park, but the alleged shootings appear to have been preceded by some sort of disagreement with his nearest neighbor along Stewarts Road, a neighbor now reportedly terrified that Mattanaw has been released from jail.
Said neighbor will probably not rest any easier given Mattanaw’s latest social media post, a Tiktok video that went up today and was cross-posted on Facebook. It features a neck cord to which are attached a whistle, a GoPro camera, a small canister of pepper spray, an automotive remote and a couple of other objectives hard to identify.
The overlaid text says “My personal security kit. If you don’t carry a gun, it still gets ridiculous if it is something that can work.”
The message is not clear, but it doesn’t sound friendly. The video was posted Wednesday afternoon.
Editor’s note: The author is a former Cavanaugh neighbor, and one of many alleged trespassers who has continued to use Stewarts Road as it had been personally used for more than two decades before Pugh and Cavanaugh declared it theirs. There is an exchange on this subject posted by Cavanaugh here. It was shot in 2019. He was at the time polite and non-threatening. Contacted on social media about the alleged shootings of last week, he replied that “any contact from you is unwanted” and threatened legal action. The author is not a member of Friends of the Stewart Trail and was not involved in the lawsuit.
You claim that with regard to Stewart’s Road “Pugh and Cavanaugh declared it theirs.” Let’s be clear, they bought the land. They didn’t claim anything that did not rightfully belong to them. If one of the post purchase trespassers injured themselves on Stewart’s Road they would sue Pugh and Cavanaugh in a New York minute. The trespassers want access without responsibility. When the friends of Stewart’s Road financially contribute to upkeep and share in liability their trespassing might have some substance.
What they bought, Don, is being decided by a judge at this very moment. The on-the-ground reality is they bought some land through which ran a historic homestead road. When the late Sen. Chris Birch, a conservative Republican who dealt with these sorts of land issues in the Fairbanks area as both an assemblyman and engineer in the ’80s, and I hiked the road, he was of the opinion that what Pugh and Cavanaugh bought, along with the land, was an R.S.2477 right-of-way.
I suspect you are familiar with R.S.2477 right-of-ways designed to protect “road, street, trail, walk, bridge, tunnel, drainage structure and other similar or related structure or facility” that provided pioneer access to mines and homesteads. He thought the Friends of Stewarts were being foolish in wanting a trail when it was, in his opinion, clear there was already an established right-of-way for a road.
But if you’re not familiar with these road standards, go here: https://www.arlis.org/docs/vol2/a/RS_2477_fact_sheet.pdf
Meanwhile, I can only laugh at the your comment as to “upkeep.” There were people in the surrounding area providing “upkeep” on that road decades before Pugh and Cavanaugh arrived. If “Bad Bob” Tierney, who used the locally maintained trail (yes, it had by the 1980s reverted to being an alder-tunnel trail before later being reopended as a road) for his Iron Dog snowmachine training back in the day, were still alive, he’d think you were some idiot who’d never set eyes on the road you’re talking about.
You have seen it, right?
Craig, I am very familiar with the Stewart Trail. I live but a few hundred yards from the trail. I skied, ran and mountain biked it before it became private property. I stopped using the trail when I became aware it had new private ownership because I respect property rights. In Pennsylvania I owned a farm on large tract of land that was essentially my vacation property. Some locales decided my property rights meant nothing when they wanted to use my land for activities of their choice because that’s how it was before I took ownership. We had a protracted legal battle, but I prevailed – my property my rules! If you choose to embrace a claim of prior public use then consider that America’s widespread indigenous people essentially own all of the United States. So, I guess it’s a matter of how far back a claimant asserts prior communal access.
Donald: The land in question was always private property. The road was and is a different matter.
There was no “before” when the land along the road wasn’t private property. If you were under some impression that the land to either side of the road was somehow public when you showed up on the Hillside, one can only credit willful ignorance.
And this isn’t Pennsylvania, where I truly doubt the state would have allowed anyone to eliminate access to private inholdings by declaring a long-established public road private. Obviously, you have baggage from a dispute with people using your property in that state that trumps any sense of community mindedness.
The issue here isn’t about the use of anyone’s private property; it’s about the maintenance of the long-established access to other lands both public and private. Much as with the road that runs past your house on the climb up to the start of Stewarts.
Can’t say I ever saw you mountain biking it or Stewarts, but I’ll take your word for it that such happened at some time in the past.
Donald- rs2477 routes are can of worms but 100% needed in Alaska due lack of pre planning. Perhaps some should be vacated when acceptable alternative routes are available but apparently it doesn’t always work that way even if it should. Oddly Alaska law recognizes your extrapolation regarding indigenous routes. In a round about way . Alaska law allows anyone to cross or be on your undeveloped land unless its fenced or you give written tress pass warning to an individual. As long as they didn’t have intent to commit crimes on that property. Super crazy but true. So yes effectively all indigenous routes are legal and cover your entire undeveloped property. Hmmmm
The must be posted requirement was removed a couple years ago, it is the responsibility of the individual to know if they are trespassing on private land and trespassing is illegal.
Steve o- thank you very much for updating me .
That change seems more common sense.
It states you are privileged to remain on or cross private land unless you are personally warned off or the property is posted in a reasonably conspicuous manner. ( without intent to commit crime) on unimproved and apparently unused land can legally do so / or is privileged to do so . Therefore apparently the state still recognizes the importance to travel across all lands incidentally or even on purpose under certain circumstances. Effectively says all indigenous routes are valid even on private property unless it’s developed fenced or conspicuously posted . They leave that interpretation up to both the tresspasser and the potential future judge apparently. Slightly odd . Yet still partially backs the communal extrapolation. Regarding Stewarts road – does it have rs2477 designation yet ? Is it conspicuously marked against tresy ? Fenced? Has each person been personally warned off? Alaska has a can of worms regarding private property but maybe its the best balance under the situation of inadequate planning. ( steve if you can post the updated statutes it would be great) thanks
I am sorry but your biased is so apparent, that I wonder your motive here?
Saying that Pennsylvania is a “state that trumps any sense of community mindedness.”
Shows your lack of the “commonwealth” back east.
Just because there is less land available with a larger population, PA actually has a great sense of community.
My last trip to the Poconos made me wonder why I ever left…the whole state park system has amenities that one can only dream of in AK.
Many old farm roads in PA had ROW before land development carved the farms into new parcels for homes.
You could not trespass on the private property just because 100 years ago an old farmers road was once on that land.
Times change and with private property comes a new set of responsibility.
Just because the prior owner allowed the public to use a parcel or ROW there is no obligation for the new owners to do the same.
I am curious to see how the court rules in this case as it seems there has been quite a lot of antagonizing of the land owners by the yuppies in the area.
Steve: Are you OK? Hopefully this isn’t Covid brain fog or typing while drinking. But you clearly misread what I wrote. I said Donald Smith’s issues in Pennsylvania appeared to have overpowered HIS sense of community mindedness. That is far cry from saying Pennsylvania lacks for community mindedness.
I have some history with Pennsylvania. My father was born there. My grandfather lived there most of his life. The rather locally well-known Kuharsky brothers of Kuharsky Brothers gunsmiths were my uncles. I have fond memories of going to shoot skeet with them when I was in my early teens and embarrasing myself with a horrible performance only for them to help me redeem myself by blasting handt-hrown clays out behind their shop.
I found everyone I met in Penn. pleasant. And now that I think about it, I must have been in my mid-teens then because I bought my first rifle – a Ruger 10/22 – at a K-Mart on a trip back there. Times certainly do change. That rifle proved to be worth far more than it cost in its production of gray and fox squirrels back in Minnesota.
We ate a lot of squirrels. The family wasn’t exactly “yuppie.” Nor are the people in the dispute with Frank Pugh from what I can tell. Most of them passed “young,” the Y part of Yuppie, a long time ago. Most of them predate Pugh by years if not decades. He, like you, is a Johnny Come Lately to Alaska. And none of them, to my knowledge, ever “antagonized” anyone.
Most of them just tried to ignore Pugh when he chased them up a long-used right-of-way yelling at them or made various threats. There’s some pretty funny history here, actually.
When all of this started, with the Municipality of Anchorage telling Pugh to “take down that gate,” I suggested to him that he get together with the MOA and simply file a “friendly suit” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendly_suit) to allow a judge to make an objective ruling on whether the road was public or not without getting into litigation sure to be costly and divisive for everyone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendly_suit
Pugh rejected that idea. Who knows why.
Pennsylvania did have right of ways established before subdivision. Most of those were established on homesteaded parcels in much the same way Stewart Road was established. A bunch of homesteaders built it as a community access road to all the parcels in upper Potter Valley.
It’s that “times change” thing again. This is a history of how times changed in PA (https://www.penndot.pa.gov/ProjectAndPrograms/Cultural%20Resources/Documents/2-bridge-survey-context-report.pdf):
“In contrast to the king’s highways, the second class of roads were those of local use,
connecting individual farms and residences with nearby centers of community activity
such as churches, mills, and crossroads villages. These roads often passed through
private lands, and were only later turned into publicly maintained roads after the level of
wagon, cart, horseback, and pedestrian traffic had reached a point to justify public
maintenance. Southeastern Pennsylvania’s rural settlement pattern of individual
farmsteads separated from another by contiguous fields lent itself to the need for a large
number of local roads, but roads that received a relatively low level of traffic because
they served a small number of inhabitants.”
Alaska is just now catching up to PA in terms of public use. But some people would like to stop that. Money is the most common reason. There are people who like to think they can profit off standing in way of the public good.
Steve s- I think you misunderstood Mr. Medred. He wasn’t slandering Pennsylvania. I think he was stating Pennsylvania would also respect long established traits or roads. The law recognizes established routes regardless of ownership changes surrounding said route in Alaska and elsewhere rs-2477. Apparently it’s needed sort of an eminent domain situation where locals understand the access needs before paperwork can catch up . I understand your angst though regarding that concept it could be frustrating if you were an unaware land owner during purchase. On the flip side it allows usability for the whole state instead of creating innaccasable islands where the population cant use public lands . Pennsylvania sounds like a wonderful place. I have good friends from there . Our nation was founded on many Pennsylvanian principles. I respect them a lot . Re read Mr medreds statement. Might make more sense second time. Couple parts were confusing.
Sorry if I mis interrupted what you said, but you did write…”in that state that trumps any sense of community mindedness.”
I guess you are referring to “state of mind” and not the literal sense of “state” as in PA ?
Either way, your attitude towards anyone who has spent less time in AK than you or the “old dogs” you respect is quite telling.
Give respect, get respect is how I was raised and it is funny that putting up with two decades of this type of AK B.S. still gets me a “Johhny come lately” branding from you…that no longer bothers me b/c I see now that “Alaska really is it’s own worst enemy”
BTW…I haven’t drank alcohol beverages more than a handful of times in the last 4 years…nothing for 8 months or so… Just not my thing anymore, but it is easier to accuse me of drunk typing than to just defend against my statement…which was mostly about your biased reporting here & your motive?
I grew up on land in PA that was originally a homestead area with an old farmer’s road running straight through the middle of my parent’s property. No one ever tried to claim rights to trespass over their land because that is not how people act back east. Private property is still respected way more than up here in AK. Up here, if there is a faint ATV trail on the corner of your land, folks seem to travel for miles to use it (even if there is another ROW within feet of the old trail).
I watched several new property owners leave Willow after the disputes with trail users was too much for them to handle. I also watched mushers try and call “unmaintained borough roads” private trails? It seems that AK has a very unique challenge in the private property / public established trail arena?
It’s funny how you respect the old homesteaders as “Pioneers” yet modern land developers like myself that carve out a few homesteads and cabins in AK get no respect? What was the secret sauce that made the old dogs so special? Why does the younger generation have no value in your eyes? These are honest questions because I see this thread permeate many of your writings. I think you have a false romantic impression on how great things were before but the reality may be much different from your perception.
Reading books like Roberta Sheldon’s “The Mystery of the Cache Creek Murders” tells me that there was a lot worse conflict among earlier pioneers than the trivial disputes we are seeing today.
Is your understanding of grammar really this bad? Again, you quote out of context. What that sentence said was that “you (Donald) have baggage from a dispute with people using your property in that state that trumps any sense of community mindedness.”
The subject is “Donald;” the predicate is “baggage;” and all those prepositional phrases following “baggage’ modify it. The sentence has everything to do with Don and his baggage and nothing to do with the minds of the people of Pennsylvania.
That said, I am well familiar with your road problem as well and sympathize. But it clearly colors your thinking. The situation on which you are commenting does not involve “a faint ATV trail on the corner of…land, folks seem to travel for miles to use it (even if there is another ROW within feet of the old trail).”
I suggest you go read the original Landmine story about Stewart’s Road. It was the the long ago access established for all the folks homesteading in the Upper Potter Creek Valley. It continued as the only established access to the valley long after homesteading ended. It remain the only established public access to the valley. It was most clearly so – as clearly so as the Parks Highway – when the landowners now involved in the legal dispute bought the property.
This is not an “old farmers road” long abandoned. It’s a road that has been regular since it was first constructed.
And it just so happens that it runs right up to the Chugach State Park boundary at the back of the park. I’ll happily admit to the belief that established public access to public lands and resources should be maintaned as the authors of the Alaska Constitution so desired. Now, you can accusse me of a having a motive in favor of said Constitution if you wish.
I am more concerned about Alaskan Airlines denigrating into San Fran Airways than some beer nuts wasting ammo.
Sounds like an entitled lower 48’er who didn’t get the message that Alaskans don’t want or need anymore village idiots…we are all full up!
Scientific microscope method to match casing would usually be needed to determine if it was his firearm. There are a lot of people who shoot 45 or 10 mm ect .
Then you need evidence beyond yeah i saw so so shoot his pistol randomly into the dirt or air . That would be nothing but hearsay by time it reached officer unless there
Was a legal statement from the person who allegedly saw it . Really video proof is needed. Did she get video? Did she take his license number? Or did she just hear someone shooting? Could have been anyone .
Is there any proof his casings were not fired legally? Did he aim or technically endanger anyone ? Right now its her word against his unless she has video proof or another person saw it . There are innumerable instances of mistaken identity that later get cleared. Imo
Obviously if there is evidence he was drinking and driving and shooting he should get the book . Otherwise it should have been treated only as an investigation until there was technical proof and not just “i saw him driving and heard shots coming from his van “ thats a lot of supposition. If he had been driving up and down the road shooting multiple times she would have had time to get a picture imo.
So if i dont like my neighbor i can accuse him of driving up and down the road shooting? Pretty light evidence to charge someone with a felony imo . Lots of neighbors dislike each other. Lots of neighbors shoot. Shell casings are everywhere. I think the lady was trying to get him killed. She had armed law enforcement go to his private residence. A very explosive situation. Especially if he was drinking like accused ( a legal thing to be doing on your own property). She endangered his and the officers lives . I hope she has hard proof of his guilt otherwise she is the one who recklessly endangered life imo . Obviously if he was shooting in her direction or a houses direction it’s another story- but lets see hard evidence before a person is charged with a felony- thats my opinion.
That said i have no sympathy for irresponsible firearm usage . Its a problem statewide. Lets just make sure we have proof before trying to get someone who isn’t proven guilty killed.or his reputation tarnished. Probably lots people with different opinions or more information I guess.
Some points of clarification here.
1.) He was not reported by a “lady;” he was reported by a man, but there are a variety of witnesses.
2.) Neither the man who reported him nor the woman contacted on the other side of the valley, who happens to have a clear view of the road and could easily witness someone shooting out of a vechile, has ever had anything to do with the lawsuit over road access. The former has expressed the opinion he would prefer the road be private, which puts him and Cavanaugh on the same side on that issue.
3.) It is illegal to discharge a firearm in the municipality of Anchorage.
4.) Shell casings may be everywhere where you are, but there were none before this on Stewarts Road. There was a lot of moose shit, bear shit, coyotoe shit, bear shit with moose cavle hooves in it, dog shit from some assholes who couldn’t pick it up or at least kick it off the road, the occassional glove or hat dropped by somebody’s kid while hiking, and sometimes a rare piece of litter. No shell casings.
5.) No one has said there ISN’T video. APD has not disclosed what all evidence it might have.
But Mattanaw Mattanaw remains innocent until proven guilty. And he does blame it on a neighbor, one who was generally on his side in the lawsuit over access.
Thanks! Makes sense. . Anchorage is different.
3.) It is illegal to discharge a firearm in the municipality of Anchorage.
How does one hunt with a firearm within the MOA?
How come there are firearm ranges in the MOA?
Frank – their appear to be many allowances for discharge of firearm within moa . An important one in this case was an exception allows discharge of firearms in areas open to hunting. So the question is this persons home in a legal hunting area and is the road ? Can small or large game be hunted there?
Really the question is what solid proof did he unlawfully discharge? And when . Secondly it raises the off set question is the partial ban on discharge legal under our constitution? Perhaps an anchorageonian can answer if its a legal hunting area?
For over a hundred years, the general public had unlimited access to hunt, fish, trap, snowmachine, cross country ski, or hike our farm. Then unknown individuals started dropping off paper trash, stoves, refrigerators, hot water heaters, rolls of carpeting, etc. They would cut fences when dragging a deer or hiking rather than utilizing a gate located not far away. The individuals were likely not locals, as the area has many hunting camps and vacation cottages utilized by people who live 100 to 300 miles away.
Eventually, our farm was posted as the “benefits” of allowing access outweighed the “inconveniences”. I’m still sad and uncomfortable when I see the signs even though I had no choice as the effort and expense of cleaning up others’ trash became too much for a 75-year-old owner……
Personally I think its an outrage to get a search warrant and arrest someone on marginal evidence. Or even marginal activity.
Well shell casings linked to his fire arm ? Did he physically threaten anyone?
Does city laws say no shooting in municipalitiy ? Sounds like total bs intimidating activity by law enforcement and whoever is pushing the lawsuit regarding right of way .
What crime was he suspected of doing that a search of his private belongings and residence could be had .
Who is going to be next ? You ? Me ?
If the guy didn’t actually hurt anyone or commit a felony then a search warrant and arrest is over the top IMO ..
regarding r/0 . Thats a sticky subject best left to legal action not vigilante law enforcement by police or by locals .
The way ive had the law explained to me and how i was told the alaska Supreme Court views such things is that if there are functional alternative routes then there is no right of way regardless of prior usage unless there was legally written or reserved r/0 .
The cases ive heard that were successful in forcing right of way usually involved some one who lived just beyond the property owner who was restricting access. The person beyond had historical usage as well as no reasonable other options.
Exceptions to this of course are federal trails ect or something that can proove nesasary and historical usage
Over extreme period of time.
Thsts how I understand it all . Be interesting to see if state supreme court makes a ruling.
That asside i see it as ridiculous law enforcement would violate this persons privacy and freedom just on hearsay.
Who is next . Dont stand for this . I hope he finds a pit bull lawyer.
Even whacos are protected by our constitution 🙃 I bet anyone who started bringing coffee and fresh vegetables to these land owners would soon get free pass for travel. Make Freinds dont create enemy’s
The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled on this a number of times. The latest case was in Homer: https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/2464541/price-v-eastham/?
The summary is this:
“The facts have been thoroughly set out in our earlier opinions in this case. To summarize, in July 1978 Thomas Price purchased an agricultural interest from the State of Alaska in land located at the head of Kachemak Bay. A group of snowmachiners had used a seismic trail that crosses this land for a number of years, but Price perceived that the volume of snowmachine traffic increased significantly in the years after he purchased it. He complained of snowmachines crossing his land at high speeds, creating a safety hazard and a lot of noise, and that some users had littered, ventured off the trail, made campfires, and used the trail after it started to thaw in the spring. He alleged that use of the trail in the spring created deep ruts across his property that filled with water. Price posted “No Trespassing” signs on his property in the winter of 1998-99. The snowmachiners sued Price, alleging that they had established an easement by prescription before Price posted the signs.”
The high court rulled for the snowmachiners.
Crazy Decision! Interesting though. A big question is the seismic line in concurrence with a section line ? That would explain it . Otherwise it goes against all my research on the subject. I wonder if there is additional information on the decision as even when the state wants access on traditional routes its a battle. Personally I prefer routes stay open but that hasn’t been my luck .
Another interesting thing to mention is that there are land owners beyond prices property which gives additional public intrest in that right o way. Also of interest was it was a snowmobile club looking to do responsible trail maintenance which is a significant statement. Of intrest would also be if there had been an agricultural easement across the property of any kind for access of other property. Did state have any interest before prices purchase?
Im told every land r/0 pretty complicated versus what’s preferred.